Unfortunate Encounter

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Around 0 Dark Thirty Halloween night, I was wakened by the smell of coffee. Not the fragrant aroma I so loved as a child when I stood in the coffee aisle at the local A&P store. Nope. What I smelled was the stench of burnt coffee.

Realizing both Pilot and Bear were missing, I left the bedroom to search for them.

While I briefly entertained the thought that our neighbor’s cat had startled a skunk under the bedroom window, my walk through the house, and outside through the garage, confirmed what I feared.

Bear had been the one who riled a skunk with disastrous results. I found Pilot up to his elbows in a solution of baking soda and peroxide, leaned over our very odoriferous pup.

“Why didn’t you wake me? I could have helped,” I asked. Although, in reality, I’m glad Pilot didn’t wake me. Have you ever been around a dog who has just been shunked?

By the time I offered assistance, Bear had already been rubbed down three different times, with one more washing left before he was declared passable enough to be banished to the garage until morning.

The tee shirt Pilot wore throughout the ordeal was destined for the trash can.

Bear saw the skunk and couldn’t control himself. Must be whatever part of Terrier/Lab/ Australian Shepherd, and possibly Boxer, is thrown into the mix of his lineage. Or, it could just be his obstinance.

Either way, Bear refused to listen to his master, Pilot. He refused to retreat from the impending doom, and lunged headfirst, literally, and paid the consequences of having to endure repeated scrubbings to remove the stench he caused.

While this will be one more dog story Pilot and I have to go along with the countless others we’ve accumulated over the years, there are several things I believe we humans can learn from it.

  • When we don’t listen to our Master, Jesus’, voice, we end up in stinky situations
  • When we chase after things we shouldn’t, the consequences can be disastrous
  • When we get close enough to our Adversary for him to spray his stench all over us, we carry that stench with us until it is washed away
  • We can’t get the stench off on our own, we have to depend on our Master to do that
  • Our unfortunate encounters may lead to banishment

Fortunately, like Bear, we have a kind, loving, sacrificial Father who allowed his Son to take our stench upon himself and face brief banishment from the Father, to make us clean.

Jesus willingly left his throne in heaven, came to earth as a man, endured all the hardships we endure so he would know what we face, be sympathetic, and plead our case to his Father.

Jesus took our sins – our stench – upon himself and faced, for the first and only time, God briefly forsaking him because of those sins.

Jesus allowed the men he created to murder him horridly on the cross, without an ounce of mercy.

All so you and I could be washed clean by his precious, sacrificial blood.

Jesus paid it all so we wouldn’t have to.

Thank you, Jesus.

Pie…your pop needs a new Dallas Cowboys tee shirt, and you know I’m not about to get it for him. 🙂

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Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

I wish you well.

Sandy

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One of my posts is scheduled to appear on Inspire a Fire November 4, 2014. Please stop by.

God Doesn’t Punish Us As We Deserve

By Sandy Kirby Quandt

Our two-year-old German Shepherd Golden Retriever mix, Kirby, was a mess. Absolutely. She’d found a mud hole in the back yard, courtesy of the soaker hose with a pinhole leak. She was covered from muzzle to tail in mud. And she wanted in.

I let Kirby inside the laundry room and assessed the situation. She was filthy. Still … she was my dog and I loved her.

She looked repentant. She looked sorrowful. She looked at me as if she hoped I’d be merciful instead of treating her as she deserved. It was merely a momentarily lapse of good judgement on her part, I’m sure. Besides, I imagine her frolic in the oozy mud brought her pleasure on a hot summer day. Until she saw me, that is.

Although this scenario occurred years ago and Kirby has since died, I still smile when I think about it. And I reflect.

bing photosYou see, I’ve wallowed around in mud holes of my own. And I imagine so have you. You know, it’s a momentarily lapse of reasoning. We forget who we are. We forget whose we are. We forget we belong to a Holy God and are called to a life of righteousness.

Our mud romp seems enjoyable for the moment. Until we face our owner.

Then we realize we messed up. We are sorrowful. We are repentant. There is nothing we can do to clean ourselves of our mess on our own. So we fall on the mercy and grace of a God who does not treat us as our sins deserve. A God who does not repay us for our iniquities. A God who casts our sins from us as far as east is from the west.

We stand before a God who does not wait for us to get all the mud off before he will let us bing photosenter his presence. Our God takes out his garden hose and washes us clean through the power of the sacrificial blood of our Risen Savior. Jesus Christ our LORD, Messiah, Redeemer, King. The Lamb who was slain. By His wounds we are healed. Cleansed. Found not guilty.

Next time we face a tempting mud hole, I suggest we pray for the strength to walk around it. Quit lingering near it, and run as far away as possible.

What are your thoughts on the subject? Leave your comments below.

He (God) does not punish us as we deserve or repay us according to our sins and wrongs. As high as the sky is above the earth, so great is his love for those who honor him. As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our sins from us. As a father is kind to his children, so the Lord is kind to those who honor him. Psalm 103:10-13 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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